Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) catalyses the first committed step in the pentose phosphate pathway; the generation of NADPH by this enzyme is essential for protection against oxidative stress. The human enzyme is in a dimer<-->tetramer equilibrium and its stability is dependent on NADP(+) concentration. G6PD deficiency results from many different point mutations in the X-linked gene encoding G6PD and is the most common human enzymopathy. Severe deficiency causes chronic non-spherocytic haemolytic anaemia; the usual symptoms are neonatal jaundice, favism and haemolytic anaemia.
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